Blog of the Week: Dagne Zvinklyte
Blogs slowly develop over time, post by post, so it takes a while to see them developing into an interconnected body of work, reflections, and links that narrate a student’s learning journey. So its great when you come across a blog that has been slowly maturing over time. Tutor Raymond Tomin has shared one such blog, showing the work of Dagne Zvinklyte‘s engagement with the Graphic Design 1 course – http://dagrnydesign.wordpress.com/
Dagne’s blog is a well-rounded document of her development as a learner and as a graphic designer. It provides a structured insight into her creative thinking and working process, provides a showcase for her work, makes links to the inspiration around her, and presents an honest and critical self-reflection on her exercises, assignments, and wider sense of learning graphic design.
Blogs are publicly facing documents, so it’s easy to start filtering what goes on there. After all you might not want to share what ends up in the creative bin. However, from a tutor’s perspective seeing the mistakes, the failed attempts, and the creative repetitions is incredibly useful in getting to grips with how students actually work and think. Refreshingly, Dagne’s blog shows the whole creative process, with rough thumbnail drawings quickly describing her visual thinking as she works through variant designs and possible ideas. The inclusion of annotated handwritten notes and crossed out versions reinforces this idea of a non-linear design process being followed. Her best solutions are emerging out of a pool of potential ideas.
Graphic designers can sometimes have an uneasy relationship with sketchbooks. Sketchbooks can be perceived as a place for a particular kind of drawing. Dagne’s blog shows drawing as the functional visualising of ideas, not the sitting and sketching you might more readily associate with how an illustrator might use a sketchbook. If we interpret the idea of the sketchbook as a place for recording and researching ideas by testing them out, then for graphic designers the sketchbook is both physical and digital. Things are still doodled and drawn but equally research and testing takes place within software and needs to be documented in a different way. It’s great to see Dagne embrace this way of working showing the development of her ideas through photography, drawing and painting as well as digitally. All linked conveniently under the tag ‘from my sketchbook’ giving the sense that the sketchbook is a document in it’s own right.
The key component to any successful learning log is providing a self-reflecting narrative that makes sense of all the exercises, research tasks, and responses to assignments. Dagne achieves this by regularly reflecting on the choices she’s made and critiquing her own work. At the end of each assignment she’s posted a wider self-evaluation that honestly picks up on what’s worked and what hasn’t in each part of the course, and how these insights feed into her growing sense of being a creative practitioner.